Weeknote, Sunday, 29 Jan 2023

This week has mostly been a cavalcade of getting things sorted in my little office. I finally decided that it was time to get a new chair. The one I have been working in for the past couple of years was really only intended to be the kind of thing you sit in for an hour at a time, reading and writing the odd letter. It looks lovely but when your life is basically one long Teams call it’s not that comfortable.

So I now have a decent but somewhat ugly chair which lets me sit more comfortably, and which I can lean back in (maybe for a small snooze?). On Tuesday a new filing cabinet will arrive which will let me get rid of the ridiculous amount of paper that I’ve got lurking around. And next weekend I am going to spend some time clearing out, vacuuming and generally turning my office space from a bit of a tip to something that’s much more enjoyable to sit in a work.

I have even got myself a new wastepaper bin. Never let it be said that I don’t live a rock and roll life.

I’m still futzing around trying to decide what the optimum keyboard is though. There are two options: the Das Keyboard (built like a tank, sounds like something from the 1970s, wired) and the Keychron K2 (smaller, neater, Bluetooth or wired, probably couldn’t be used to bludgeon a burger to death as you could with the Das Keyboard). Both of them use the same kind of switches, although the feel is a bit different thanks to the difference in housing and size. The K2 has some clear advantages: I prefer the feel of it a little, it can be set up at several different angles and it’s a little less like listening to an exchange of machine gun fire. Both are really good keyboards. The K2 is also backlit which can be useful in some circumstances.

Part of rearranging my desk space has involved moving the Mac mini from its normal place beside the display to underneath a screen riser. The riser is just big enough to also house an Apple external DVD drive (I am gradually ripping a load of music which is still on CDs) and the CalDigit Thunderbolt dock, which was one of the best purchases I made.

The Mac mini is one of the loveliest Macs I have owned. It’s the base level M1 version, with just 8Gb of memory and a paltry 256Gb of storage, but it’s perfect for the kinds of things I do with it. Most of my files are synced to the cloud anyway, so my actual storage needs are a lot lower than they would be with some other machines. It’s absolutely silent and the M1 is surprisingly powerful not just at the day-to-day tasks of work but also occasional video and audio editing. Sure, if you are spending your entire life editing videos you probably want more memory, but for me? Nope. 8Gb turns out to be just right.

Did I mention it’s silent? I love that.

What I’ve been writing

This week I have mostly been working on the Alice and God story which I started on a while ago. It’s been going well: I have worked on it every day and although I haven’t been writing a lot I’ve been writing regularly and that’s the most important thing.

What I’ve been reading and watching

This week I finished The Organised Writer by Antony Johnston. It’s a short book which canters through getting yourself organised to write, covering everything from time management for writers to sorting out your invoices to setting up your home office environment. I think a lot of the advice is good for anyone who works creatively and it’s already bumped up my productivity quite a bit. Highly recommended.


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